Scotts is pleased to announce its joint sponsorship, with Syngenta, of the BIGGA Golf Environment Award scheme for 2003. Aimed at encouraging greater nature conservation throughout the golf industry, the sponsorship complements Scotts' fundamental commitment to environmental responsibility.

Matt Reed, managing director of Scotts UK Professional, said: "The potential of golf courses as important refuges for wildlife is becoming increasingly apparent. One of the key factors in our product development programme is to ensure minimum impact on the environment throughout our operations - from manufacture to application - and we are delighted to be able to further extend this philosophy into sponsorship of the BIGGA Golf Environment Competition."

Reflecting this philosophy, Scotts has recently achieved the ISO 14001 Standard for Environmental Management at its key production plant at Heerlen in the Netherlands. All the Osmocote, Sierrablen and Agroblen fertilizers sold in Europe are manufactured at Heerlen, which is the largest controlled release fertilizer factory on the Continent. Certification of the site to ISO 14001 is a powerful assurance for greenkeepers and groundsmen that Sierrablen is produced, and can be used, with the lowest environmental impact possible.

In practice, use of Sierrablen addresses the increasing concerns over excess nutrient loss into the soil and ground water. Nutrient release from Sierrablen formulations is governed by temperature and is designed to correspond to the needs of the turf - increasing under warmer conditions, when nutrient demand is high, and reducing as temperature, and therefore need, falls. By selecting the right option, turf managers are able to precisely match the nutrient requirements of their sportsturf over time, ensuring optimum growth and colour response and guaranteeing that no excess nutrient leaches into the environment.

Jose Milan of Syngenta, co-sponsors of the BIGGA Environment Award scheme, said: "Golf is an industry and, like any industry in the 21st century, it must take its responsibilities to the environment seriously. Golf is, however, in a fortunate position, as it has the potential to make a significant contribution to the preservation and enhancement of natural biodiversity, and we are pleased to be able to offer practical support through this sponsorship."
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